Elegant, Turn-of-the-Century Hotel with Rich Literary History
When William Faulkner penned his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in 1950, he did so at the Algonquin. The 1902 hotel has been one of New York City's hubs of cultural activity for decades; beginning in 1919, a group of journalists, playwrights, and critics known as The Round Table would trade barbed witticisms over weekly Algonquin lunches, eventually founding the New Yorker, which the Algonquin still distributes for free to guests.
Today, the oak-paneled Edwardian lobby retains a sense of literary sophistication, welcoming book clubs, solitary readers, and socializing cocktail sippers alike. Brass bells atop each table summon waiters and lost Pavlovian test subjects, and perched atop a miniature chaise lounge, a fluffy ragdoll cat named Matilda—the latest incarnation of the Algonquin's traditional cat-in-residence—greets visitors.
Upstairs, within recently renovated classic and queen rooms, travelers can practice their own catnaps atop 350-thread-count linens and pillow-top beds. Custom furnishings, coral drapes, and brightly hued artwork perk up drowsy eyelids. When hunger calls, the Round Table Room proffers steaks, sandwiches, and salads in the sophisticated spirit of the old literary lunches, and nearby, the Oak Room Supper Club pairs fine dining with smoky cabaret singers nightly.
Theater District: Cultural Hub at the Heart of Manhattan
About a block from the Algonquin, the blazing marquees of Broadway light up the night, competing for attention with the neon-coated buildings of Times Square. On West 49th, the 1922 Ambassador Theater lures sightseers into an auditorium lavished with plaster molding and gilt designs. There, the Tony Award–winning Chicago unfolds with vaudevillian glitz and iconic jazz numbers (tickets included with this Getaways deal).
Though many of the city's landmarks are within walking distance of the theater district, a three-hour cruise on a double-decker ferry around Manhattan from Circle-Line Sightseeing provides a more panoramic view of the skyline, skimming past the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty (tickets included with this Getaways deal). When it comes time to explore again on foot, Central Park awaits about a 30-minute walk north of the hotel. There, as autumn turns to winter, the bare tree branches complement the sleek lines of surrounding skyscrapers, and ice-skating rinks reflect glimmering city streetlights and nature's streetlights, the smiles of children.